In a recent statement by the FCC, mobile service providers will be shutting off their 3G networks as soon as January 2022 to focus on newer 5G networks. Once the shutoff occurs, any device that uses 3G will no longer use cellular data to connect to the internet, use data services, or send calls and texts, including calls to 911.

3g shutdown

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have announced their timelines for phasing out 3G services.

  • AT&T announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022.
  • Verizon announced that will finish shutting down its 3G network by December 31, 2022.
  • T-Mobile announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint's 3G network by January 1, 2022 and Sprint's LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also plans to shut down T-Mobile's 2G and 3G networks but has not yet announced a date.

If your mobile carrier is not listed here, you may still be affected. Many carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize AT&T's, Verizon's, and T-Mobile's networks. These dates mark the final shutoff periods, and other services may begin retirement sooner. Mobile companies have started reaching out to users with 3G devices to alert them of their imminent obsoletion. Service providers will be contacting 3G plan holders by text, phone, email, and mail. With the shutdown of 3G also comes the final nail in the coffin for 2G networks. 2G, only being supported by T-Mobile, will be terminated in December of 2022, almost a full year after their 3G networks go dark.

Despite the quickly approaching deadline, 3G has continued to be a popular option for cost-effective phone plans for basic phones from producers such as Nokia and LG. These phones can still be found for sale in stores such as Bestbuy and online marketplaces like Amazon. High-end phones from as earlier as six years ago may not be safe from this shutdown either. Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy were still providing 3G options to buyers in 2015.

3G is not just used by phones, however. Tablets, smartwatches, security devices, and GPS tracking systems that utilize 3G will have their connections fail if they have no other way of finding service.

While nothing is permanent, the death of 3G does not mean that we should be counting the days of 4G LTE. 4G is going to be around for quite some time and is not expected to be surpassed by 5G for at least a decade. 5G may be groundbreaking tech, but it's more costly than 4G for more data than average users need, has limited deployment, and is still only advised for early adopters. If 3G devices need to replacing, 4G LTE is a safe bet for the foreseeable future.

To learn more click the link below to read the statement from the FCC

Click Here